Students achieve efficiency record with solar car on trip across Australia

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Australian students from the University of New South Wales have set a record with a solar car on a route from Perth to Sydney. The car averaged 3.25kWh / 100km, which is officially recognized as a record.

Guinness World Record recognized that an average energy consumption of 3.25kWh per hundred kilometers is a record for a ride across Australia. The Sunswift team from the University of Sydney reports that they have traveled the 4100km route in six days with their Violet solar car. An average of about 600 km was traveled per day, with the solar car consuming approximately 20 to 24kWh of energy, which according to the students is comparable with the daily consumption of a standard household.

In total there was a trip of the to the east of Australia requires less than 50 Australian dollars, less than 31 euros. The students had to stay below 5.5kWh / 100km to establish a record. The achieved average of 3.25kWh per 100km is about seventeen times more efficient than an average Australian car.

The establishment of the record was not without a struggle. For example, there were problems with the rear suspension and there was a battery that caught fire. Moreover, according to the students Violet behaves rather ‘lively’. “It is not a production car and you have to drive the vehicle more or less like a horse to keep it under control on the public roads,” said one of the students participating in the project.

Violet is the sixth generation of the vehicle and is built for comfort according to the team. There are four doors, a streamlined profile, storage space at the front and back, GPS with an interactive screen, WiFi, air-conditioning, parking sensors and a reversing camera. The chassis of the car is made of carbon fiber, so the vehicle weighs less than 400kg. The solar panels cover a total of five square meters, which are supplemented with 10kWh to 20kWh lithium-ion batteries.

The Australian car will participate in the World Solar Challenge that takes place in 2019 in October. In 2017, the students with this car also participated in the competition in the Cruiser class, which is about ‘family cars. Violet finished third; Solar Team Eindhoven then won with their Stella Vie solar car.

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